by Lisa McRitchie on 02/11/12 at 08:15 PM ET
Oilers beat Senators 4-3 in Overtime
Finally. That has to be what was on Magnus Pääjärvi’s mind as he looked to the sky, his shoulders finally relaxed. It took 35 NHL games, but Paajarvi has scored his first NHL goal of the season and hopefully now, more will follow. You never know what will spark offensive offence or strings of goals, just ask Edmonton Oiler Sam Gagner.
Saturday was Hockey Day in Canada with various hockey related events, tournaments and games scheduled across the country and all 7 Canadian NHL teams in action. The Edmonton Oilers travelled to the Nation’s capital to play the Ottawa Senators in a matinee match-up.
This game was a special one for Chris Phillips and the Ottawa Senators. The defenceman from Fort MacMurray was playing his 1000th NHL game and so was awarded with a special ceremony, stick, puck, portrait and national recognition.
The Senators got the early start, but the teams traded goals through the 60 minutes of play. For the Senators, Daniel Alfredsson scored the lone goal of the first period. Paajarvi would score next with assists to Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff. Milan Michalek would follow with a goal of his own just over two minutes later. Again, just over two minutes later Ben Eager would respond for the Oilers.
Just 42 seconds into the third period the Oilers took their first lead of the game with a goal by Shawn Horcoff and assists to Ales Hemsky and Magnus Pääjärvi. It’s funny how the same names will often come up in scoring throughout a game, but this was one of Hemsky’s better games as of late.
The Senators would respond to the Oilers’ lead midway through the third period with a goal from Erik Karlsson. Yes, this was a game for the Swedes.
Ben Eager had a good skating game, finding the open ice and making his way to the net made way for his sixth goal of the season. It’s not as though he has not always been effective, but his ice time has been questionable at times this season. This game, Eager continued to receive regular shifts as the Oilers pushed for the win.
Overtime was certainly sudden death. Taylor Hall made an initial shot on net, skated around the back of the net and was in perfect position to snap up the rebound and backhand the puck into the back of the net. Just 2 shots and 17 seconds of overtime was all it took to conclude this game.
Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle were left off of the scoreboard, but they had their chances. They can’t always be expected to carry the load either; the rest of the team needs to find ways to score, and score they did.
Nikolai Khabibulin faced 40 shots, Craig Anderson 42. These two teams kept the game very even, but it was the Oilers who may have had to work a little harder. The Oilers have the worst road record in the NHL. With this win, the Oilers have won only 7 road games and have lost 22.
Next up, the Oilers will travel home to Edmonton and host the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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